Bio: O-Shen, was raised from infancy until age 15 in Papua New Guinea by his American parents, who were medical missionaries. The family's move to Spokane, Wash., his mom's hometown, was traumatic for the teenager — then known by his birth name, Jason Hershey. Raised and educated in the village of Butaweng (population 1,500), a community where neighbors took care of one another, a strong sense of cultural identity was imprinted early in life, and no one judged anyone by the color of their skin, O-Shen suddenly found himself in a world where it was far easier to get by burying his identity instead of celebrating it.
After falling in with a "thuggish" crowd and barely graduating from high school, O-Shen, by age 19, was in Washington State Prison on a three-year sentence for burglary. While incarcerated, he reconnected with his culture, taught himself languages and upon release immediately returned to Papua New Guinea. Eventually, he found a new home in Honolulu.
Experimenting with music while working a Waikiki day job, O-Shen got his first big break after sending local musician Fiji a demo tape that impressed Fiji enough to let the eager twentysomething do a Niugini pidgin rap on his 2000 "Gratitude" disc. O-Shen recorded his debut CD, "Iron Youth," soon after, winning a 2001 Na Hoku Hanohano award for reggae album of the year.
Editors Note: Bio taken directly from Oshen. He is another great example of an artist with a diverse backgrounds that ends up making music in the genre of Hawaiian reggae. Oshen has had a very successful musical career and was a main staple of the music scene for many years.
Style: Reggae, Hip Hop, Island, World